This little idol?

Winslow, “The Sympathy of Christ” 

To affirm, as the Scriptures of truth positively do,
that mankind is originally and totally depraved, is
but to portray it with every feature of its pristine
nobleness, purity, and excellence utterly spoiled!

Mankind has become the living embodiment,
the acting impersonation, the very incarnation
of fallen SELF love; SELF love in the form of
complete SELFishness.

The original Center of the soul forsaken,
man had become a center to himSELF.

The God He worshiped, was the deification of SELF.

The religion He professed, was the adoration of SELF.

The powers He cultivated were consecrated to SELF.

His whole existence was one act of service and devotion to SELF.

The Divine Center abandoned,
He knew no other god,
acknowledged no other sufficiency,
recognized no other end than himSELF.

Every faculty and thought, every affection and action,
was made to contribute to the cloud of incense which
rose as in one dense column before this little idol, SELF. 

SELF the first;
SELF the last;
SELF all in all!

And is it not so now?

SELF, in some shape, is still the Deity of the natural man!

SELFishness is still the universal sin of our nature,
exhibited in one or more of its thousand modifications,
its endless forms.

All are in pursuit either of wealth, or ambition,
or pleasure, or honor, or gratification under the
‘law of SELFishness’.

SELF is the only recognized principle and rule of
action which regulates the conduct of the great
majority of our depraved species.

The indictment is heavy, the picture is dark, the
sin is awful, we admit; but it is borne out by daily
observation and frequent experience, and by the
faithful, unerring Word of God, “All men seek their own.”

What, we ask, is all this….
this SELF exaltism?
this egotism?
this envy and jealousy?
this attempt to supplant others in esteem, influence, and power?
this prodigality and love of worldly show?
this eager chase of wealth?
this covetousness and penuriousness?
this love of ease and sloth?
this niggardly dole of charity?
this cruel, heartless, grinding oppression?
this growing sensuality and crime?

What, we ask, is all this, and a thousand times more,
but the one appalling, cancerous sin of SELFishness
existing in the very heart of depravity, and sending
its fatal poison along all the fibers of human society?


One response to “This little idol?

  1. The great idol!

    (John Angell James, “Christian Love” 1828)

    “People will be lovers of themselves.” 2 Timothy 3:2

    Selfishness is the cause of all sin–the opposite of all
    holiness and virtue.

    The essence of man’s sin, the sum of his moral depravity,
    is to love himself supremely; to seek himself finally and
    exclusively; to make self, in one shape or another, the
    center to which all his busy thoughts, anxious cares and
    diligent pursuits, constantly tend.

    Self-love is the most active and reigning principle in fallen
    nature! SELF is the great idol which mankind are naturally
    disposed to worship; and selfishness the grand interest to
    which they are devotedly attached!

    Selfishness is contrary to the habitual temper of our Lord
    Jesus Christ. “For even Christ did not please Himself.”

    The perfection of all virtue lies in unselfish love. The nearer
    we approach to this state of mind, the nearer we come to
    sinless moral excellence. “Love is not self-seeking.”

    “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in
    humility consider others better than yourselves.” Phil. 2:3

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